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Black History Gets Attention In VA


Dr. Deborah Lee Discusses Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground


WATERFORD, VA, – A new book shining a light on the African-American experience from Colonial times to the present in the most historic region in the nation is being featured at the 2010 Virginia Festival of the Book. Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground and its author Dr. Deborah Lee will speak to this work at the UVA Bookstore on Wednesday, March 17 at 8pm.


Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground depictsthe realities of slave life, stories of people who risked everything to escape and navigate the Underground Railroad to freedom, lives of freed slaves after emancipation and their struggle for survival and equality.


It’sis a 248-page book of 100 compelling stories that was produced with the keen insight and expertise of 34 historians and academicians. It includes fifteen easy-to-use maps, fascinating profiles as well as archival images depicting many of the indelible contributions made by African Americans who lived within the four-state Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area which runs from Gettysburg, PA to Monticello, VA.


Robert K. Sutton, PhD, Chief Historian for the National Park Service said, “After three years of extensive research, this remarkable book brings to the public a rich and complex component of our American narrative by looking beyond the bricks and mortar of historic sites to the people who—through courage, creativity and conviction—helped shape our nation.” 


Dr. Lee will be joined by fellow author Betty DeRamus for a program called African-American Paths to Freedom, which will be moderated by Theodore DeLaney.


“Generation after generation, the people of this amazing region have been called upon to define what it means to be an American,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.  “Yet we found many of these extraordinary stories were untold. Accordingly, we sought and fortunately secured funding to ensure we had the finest scholars and the most dedicated team to more fully uncover this history”


Dr. Lee, explained that, “Understanding the African American experience lends new dimensions to the phrase ‘hallowed ground.’  We owe gratitude to the many African Americans, famous and anonymous, who have enriched our world in so many ways.  Through their lives and work, their struggles and achievements, they hallowed this ground.  Through this project, and through visits to the places they knew, we seek to honor their paths.”


The Virginia Festival of the Book is the largest gathering of authors, writers, and readers in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is presented in a unique partnership of contributors that includes the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, bookstores, schools, libraries, area businesses and organizations, and committed individuals.


Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is published by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership and has been made possible by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission, Loudoun Preservation and Restoration Society, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and individual contributions.   The bookretails for $20.


Starting in Charlottesville, running north through Greene, Orange, Madison, Culpeper, Prince William Loudoun, into Frederick, MD, through Harpers Ferry, WV and ending in Gettysburg, no other place in this nation is more saturated with American history than this one.


With 400 years of European, American and African-American heritage, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is a National Heritage Area with a National Scenic Byway running through it. Known as the region Where America Happened, it includes: National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Heritage districts, nine Presidential homes, 13 National Park units, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 Historic Main Street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation.


The JTHG Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the unparalleled history within the swath of land from Monticello to Gettysburg and has successfully created the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area and has had the Old Carolina Road (Rt. 15/20/231) from Gettysburg, through Maryland, to Monticello designated a National Scenic Byway. For more information, go to:


Details for the presentation are as follows:


WHEN:             Thursday, March 17th at 8:00 pm

WHERE:             UVA Bookstore on The Corner, Ã¢â‚¬Â¨400 Emmet Street S. Charlottesville, VA

PARKING:             UVA Central Grounds Parking Garage
DETAILS:             call (434) 924-3721 or go to:
Media Contact:
John K. Jones

JTHG Partnership Director of Communications


The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, Post Office Box 77, Waterford, VA 20197 United States

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